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Heat Transfer and Flow Measurements in an Atmospheric Lean Pre-Mixed Combustor
Gomez Ramirez, David
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Energy conservation, efficiency, and environmental responsibility are priorities for modern energy technologies. The ever increasing demands for lower pollutants and higher performance have driven the development of low-emission gas turbine engines, operating at lean equivalence ratios and at increasingly higher turbine inlet temperatures. This has placed new constraints on gas turbine combustor design, particularly in regards to the cooling technologies available for the combustor liner walls. To optimize combustor thermal management, and in turn optimize overall engine performance, detailed measurements of the flame side heat transfer are required. However, given the challenging environment at which gas turbine combustors operate, there are currently only limited studies that quantify flame side combustor heat transfer; in particular at reacting conditions. The objective of the present work was to develop methodologies to measure heat transfer within a reacting gas turbine combustor. To accomplish this, an optically accessible research combustor system was designed and constructed at Virginia Tech, capable of operating at 650 K inlet temperature, maximum air mass flow rates of 1.3 kg/s, and flame temperatures over 1800 K. Flow and heat transfer measurements at non-reacting and reacting conditions were carried out for Reynolds numbers (Re) with respect to the combustor diameter ranging from ~11 500 to ~140 000 (depending on the condition). Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) was used to measure the non-reacting flow field within the burner, leading to the identification of coherent structures in the flow that accounted for over 30% of the flow fluctuation kinetic energy along the swirling jet shear layers. The capability of infrared (IR) thermography to image surface temperatures through a fused silica (quartz) glass was demonstrated at non-reacting conditions. IR thermography was then used to measure the non-reacting steady state heat transfer along the combustor liner. A peak in heat transfer was identified at ~1 nozzle diameter downstream of the combustor dome plate. The peak Nusselt number along the liner was over 18 times higher than that predicted from fully developed turbulent pipe flow correlations, which have traditionally been used to estimate flame side combustor heat transfer. For the reacting measurements, a novel time-dependent heat transfer methodology was developed that allowed for the investigation of transient heat loads, including those occurring during engine ignition and shutdown. The methodology was validated at non-reacting conditions, by comparing results from an experiment with changing flow temperature, to the results obtained at steady state. The difference between the time-dependent and the steady state measurements were between 3% and 17.3% for different mass flow conditions. The time-dependent methodology was applied to reacting conditions for combustor Reynolds numbers of ~12 000 and ~24 000. At an equivalence ratio of ~0.5 and a combustor Reynolds number of ~12 000, the peak heat load location in reaction was shifted downstream by 0.2 nozzle diameters compared to the non-reacting cases. At higher equivalence ratios, and more visibly at a Reynolds number of ~24 000, the heat transfer distribution along the combustor liner exhibited two peaks, upstream and downstream of the impingement location (X/DN=0.8-1.0 and X/DN=2.5). Reacting PIV was performed at Re=12 000 showing the presence of a strong corner recirculation, which could potentially convect reactants upstream of the impingement point, leading to the double peak structure observed. The methodologies developed have provided insight into heat transfer within gas turbine combustors. The methods can be used to explore additional conditions and expand the dataset beyond what is presented, to fully characterize reacting combustor heat transfer.
- Doctoral Dissertations